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Showing posts from October, 2017

Why I Love Kiss Land

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"I know you want your money, girl
'Cause you do this every day, okay
The way you doubt your feelings
And look the other way
Well, it's something I relate to
Your gift of nonchalance
Nobody's ever made me fall in love
With this amount of touch Well, I'm not a fool
I just love that you're dead inside (That you're dead inside)
I'm not a fool, I'm just lifeless too But you to taught me how to feel
When nobody ever would (Nobody ever would)
And you taught me how to love
What nobody ever could Ooh girl, I know I should leave you
And learn to mistreat you
'Cause you belong to the world
And ooh girl, I want to embrace you
Domesticate you
But you belong to the world, you belong to the world."
Kiss Land was released in 2013. It is the most astonishing R&B album of the last decade, and probably a good bit before that too. It is the greatest work in the career of The Weeknd, unarguably the most prodigious and talented man working in R&B and m…

Why I Love Sex Therapy

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"It's your body, we'll go hard if you want to
As hard as you want to, soft as you want to
Just let me love you, lay right here, I'll be your fantasy
Give you sex therapy, give you sex therapy."

Robin Thicke is underrated. He has made a career out of proving people wrong who say that a white man has no place in R&B. His new wave Blue Eyed Soul is some of the best in the history of the genre. A large reason why Thicke is underrated or otherwise unfairly maligned is due to the phenomenal success of Blurred Lines, featuring Pharrell and TI, and the confused reaction to that song. Those who believe that Blurred Lines is an ode to rape culture are on the wrong track altogether. It is not a song that attempts to coerce a woman into sex, it is like so much of R&B, an attempt to empower the wallflower to get what they want but are afraid to ask for. It is a celebration of living as a physical being, and not being prevented from living a full life because of fear. It…

Why I Love Still Not Falling

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"Somehow I knew that you would know me better than that

All this commotion
None of the emotion
I think I want it over
But you wanna come over

I ain't a world class gentleman baby
You don't know me like you should, that's okay babe
We could work it out or we could work it through
We could end it now or we could run it to the ground

I'm still not falling for you
I'm still just waiting by your side
I'm just waiting by your side."

Still Not Falling by Shy Girls is one of my favourite R&B songs of the last decade. It is a gorgeous production with some seriously beautiful harmonies and a vocal performance that is a straight up knock out. It is a sad, romantic song, something that speaks to all of the lost love that one experiences in life. "I'm still waiting by your side." I'll wait as long as it takes. Have a watch and a listen to the music video and see what I mean. Still Not Falling is up there with Novacane by Frank Ocean, The Party & Th…

Why I Love Roger Ebert

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"Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" is a magnificent science-fiction film, all the more intriguing because it raises questions about the origin of human life and doesn't have the answers."

I first started watching Siskel and Ebert after a visit to see my friends in Chicago, who recommended the pair to me. I had seen the pair on old videos of David Letterman's NBC and CBS shows, but I wasn't well acquainted with their work. There have been no critics in any medium that have affected me as much as Siskel and Ebert. Their show was a pitch perfect mixture of opinion and analysis. As much as I love Gene Siskel, I have to say that my heart belongs to Roger Ebert. Ebert was never condescending or elitist. He believed that everyone, everywhere was entitled to have an opinion on Art. He was a champion for films that didn't receive a lot of publicity or critical acclaim. He was never scared off not liking a movie because it wasn't popular. He stood up for…

Why I Love Star Trek Discovery

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"You judge the creature by its appearance and by one single incident from its past. Nothing in its biology suggests it would attack except in self-defense. Commander, this creature is an unknown alien. It can only be what it is, not what you want it to be."

I wasn't hoping for much in Star Trek Discover. After the J.J. Abrahms movies, I was at peace with the fact that we would never see another true Star Trek, so successful was the dismantling and destruction of almost every sacred element of the show. This was allegedly for the purpose of appealing to a wider audience. Out went the interest in the various cultures and worlds out there in the universe, and in came ACTION scenes and stupid songs by the Beastie Boys. Oh look, it's Sabotage! I know that song! Wow that J.J. sure knows how to make something shit like Star Trek good for those who hate it!

Shame on J.J. Abrahms and shame on those who destroyed something holy, in order to make themselves feel that it was…

Why I Love Blade Runner 2049

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"You've never seen a miracle."

Blade Runner 2049, directed by Denis Villeneuve and produced by Ridley Scott, is one of the most visually stunning, philosophically complex and emotionally satisfying Science Fiction movies of all time. Let's get that out of the way up front. It follows Prometheus and Alien Covenant, and of course the original Blade Runner, as an examination of what can be considered life, and the battle between the created and their creators. With Blade Runner 2049, Ridley Scott confirms his status as the greatest creator of Science Fiction of the last century. The film is one of the most beautiful I have ever witnessed, from its jaw dropping cinematography to the amazing emotional and philosophical depth of the story.

As with Prometheus and Covenant, Blade Runner 2049 is a film that deals with big issues. What is life? Why do we have a capacity to subjugate and enslave those who we don't understand? Why are creators so frequently capricious and cr…

Why I Love Alien Covenant

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"David, I met the devil when I was a child, and I've never forgotten. So, David, you're gonna tell me exactly what's going on... or I am going to seriously fuck up your perfect composure."

You all know that I adore Prometheus. I have written about why I love it so much on this very blog. In that piece I expressed some disappointment at the fact that Elizabeth Shaw was not carried over to the sequel. This remains a disappointment, as I loved Shaw as a character. This does not mean however that I don't love Covenant which remains a smart, incredibly effective Horror Science Fiction movie. Like Prometheus and Alien before it, Covenant has a strong and beautiful female lead, played by Katherine Waterston. When I watched it for a second time, it hit me how appropriate it was that Elizabeth Shaw died at the hands of David, although I would have liked a cameo of some sort. Waterston playing Danny though more than makes up for the lack of Elizabeth Shaw, I must ad…

Why I Love Ti West

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"This one night changes everything for me."

Ti West is my favourite Horror director, for his stunning trilogy comprising The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers and The Sacrament. Ti West is someone who makes subtle, slow burn Horror. He has a tremendous gift for this slow burn, building up slowly into supremely intense and effective Horror. These three films are among the greatest of the last decade, each with its own unique atmosphere that pushes the viewer into paroxysms of fear and anxiety. The three movies are diverse, each with its own unique character, litany of scary shit, and atmosphere for days.

The House of the Devil is my favourite of the trilogy, starring the immensely beautiful and gifted Jocelin Donahue and the creepy as all hell Tom Noonan. This is a movie that could have been made in the 1970s or the 1980s. Yes there is some intense violence, but it is in a context that is as far from the grim nihilism of some of the worst examples of the unfortunate sub-ge…

Why I Love A Dark Song

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"Not everything can be forgiven."

A Dark Song was written and directed by Liam Gavin. It is probably my favourite Irish film ever made. It is a very scary movie, yes, but the real secret of its success is its incredibly moving and emotionally complex heart. The story follows Sophia's attempts to get revenge for the murder of her son. To do this she employs Joseph Solomon who has a gift for dark magic. The film stars Catherine Walker and Steve Oram, who both turn in excellent performances, each with their own baggage that endangers their ability to see the ritual through successfully. The large majority of A Dark Song's running time is occupied with these two characters, and it is a hell of a thing to witness. There is no jumping around to different perspectives on the story, there is just the incredibly claustrophobic time spent with Sophia and Solomon. Most actors couldn't pull this off and it is a testament to Walker and Oram that the viewer never becomes tire…

Why I Love Lost in Translation

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"I just don't know what I'm supposed to be." "You'll figure that out. The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you."

Lost in Translation is my favourite movie of all time. I adore Sofia Coppola and love every one of her films, but Lost in Translation is her best. It is a movie about love that is not defined by sex. I first saw the movie in 2004, when me, my brother and father went to see Brian Wilson perform SMiLE in Glasgow. I think it was in March. My brother Martin and friend Mel had told me that I would love it, and boy were they right. Bill Murray has never been better. His performance is extremely funny, very touching and all around on point. Scarlett Johansson is one of my very favourite actors, and she is so beautiful here, getting across the emotional isolation that has consumed her. This emotional isolation is shared by Murray's character Bob, who is in Tokyo for a profitable ad campaign for Santory …